Excerpt of the Text and Best Summarizing Techniques to Outline Essentials

Making an outline turns out to be messy work for those who are unfamiliar with the process and don’t know the main summarizing strategies. Indeed many students face the same problem during the source giving a rundown: the process itself more reminds a simultaneous catch of the several preys. Students simply sticking the detached texts fragments together instead of making a comprehensive synopsis of the material. If you don’t want to fall within the same gap read out the article sharing the summary strategies and approaches that will help you along the way.

summarizing strategies online“According to Buckley definition summarizing is reducing text to one-third or one-quarter its original size, clearly articulating the author’s meaning, and retaining original ideas. Diane Hacker explains that it is involves stating a work’s thesis and main ideas “simply, briefly, and accurately” . The purpose is to briefly present the key points of a theory or work in order to provide context for your argument/thesis.”

Why Do We Need This?

The whole summary techniques in writing procedure are highly valuable in terms of original meaning grasping, nothing works better for the material understanding than restating it with own words in a nutshell. It is often is required as a part of the education process because of this property, this way the student can show a deeper understanding of what has been learned.

In other words, it is a more condensed form of the article, book or single piece of writing the purpose of which is to deliver the essence of the original but in a short way, leaving out all the unessential details.

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How to Sum Up Any Source Effectively

  • Read the information source several times, in fact, read so many times as needed for you to fully understand the material
  • Look up unfamiliar words and then if they’re too difficult for understanding you may rephrase them with your own words
  • Construct the sentences clearly, don’t forget to include the main points you want to deliver: for this jot down on the piece of paper the main concept
  • Keep it brief: don’t lose the original essence but try to make it look more laconic, reduce and delete ruthlessly all the unessential sentences.
  • In the paragraph don’t be tempted by the desire to stick your own interpretation, draw the distinct like between your opinion and someone’s thoughts.
  • Don’t bore your readers, vary the introduction of your sources, f. g “according to” next time can be substituted by “some authors or sources conclude that…and other variants.”

how to summarize

7 Summary Strategies and Their Explanations

We gathered best summarizing techniques for everyone, the essence of those approaches is that some of them come in the kind of game form, not leaving the chance to get bored quickly during the brainstorming.

3-2-1 Strategy

How does it work? You need to fill out the so-called 3-2-1 chart, filling the information of:

3 – Most important facts you found out
2 – Interesting things you found
1 – Question you still have

This tactic is very flexible and versatile, for instance, if you’ve just started studying the subject you can modify it according to your topic, you can work in a pair or as an independent student. The key points are then written down into a paragraph. You can use our article writer to get some idea of how it should look like.


This one of the techniques in summarizing demands cooperative work. You and your classmate or friend need to divide the text into the manageable chunk and then get the responsible ones for every piece of content. Just like in jigsaw puzzle each one will complete the missing gap. When performed by one student you need to article into several paragraphs and assign a 1 original meaning to be derived from it, this way unessential information is sorted out.


The Somebody-Wanted-But-So tactic (MacOn, Bewell & Vogt, 1991) is used during or after reading. Commonly used in social studies and in history based subjects. Students use a chart or a folded piece of paper. The task is to identify who wanted something, what they wanted, what conflict arose, and the resolution.

Ball Type

Generating strategies for summarizing in the game form that usually takes place in the classroom. After the topic was read by everyone the teacher tosses a ball to the student who is 5 seconds states the fact, concept or most significant feature remembered, then tosses further. A student sits down in case left nothing to add.

The Gist

Known as “the main or essential part of a matter” the GIST way (Cunningham, 1982) is organized so that you have 20 helping base words on which to lean on when developing summary writing techniques. The student must convey the gist in 20 words, this tactic is often used in narrative texts.

Graphic Organizers

The majority of people perceive the information visually, that’s why using graphics and spreadsheets might be more effective for them. The variety of schemes can be found online, developed or modified according to the task.

When Less Means Better: An Example of Greatly Done Task

Let’s assume the student was assigned to outline strategy about the dolphin that lost its tail. The student reconstructed the sentences from the main notes taken.

summarizing techniques

4 Signs Your Summary Strategy Is a Good One

So you finished writing your math summarizing strategies? But you know it’s actually not the end of the story, for the good quality writing it needs to meet particular standards. After you made the first draft it’s time to recheck your work, making sure your prospectus is:

  • Comprehensive. It must include all the helpful facts, findings, author’s most valuable ideas.
  • Accurate. Make sure you didn’t twist the main meaning while making an outline, there’s no room for a misinterpretation.
  • Neutral. The most common mistake is to include your own point of view, try to restrain from personal comments and evaluations when you just need to sum up the source.
  • Independent. When your text can be understood without actually reading the initial source then it is a success.

writing a summary